Monday, May 09, 2016

178-180. Beinn a'Chlachair (56), Geal Charn (81), Creag Pitridh (264). 01/05/2016

Ben and I wanted to try a longish walk, since we had the luxury of a whole day to spend. The guide books quoted this as 8 hours, but in fact we managed it in just over 7, which for 28km wasn't bad going.

The first hour was along a track and because of the wind and snow, we decided to go all the way along to the end of the western ridge of Beinn a'Chlachair before ascending. Whilst not the most direct route, I think this was a good decision, since once climbing we had the wind and rain at our backs and the extra kilometer was all along a track. There wasn't as much rain as forecast and in fact we had clear views for much of our time on the tops and ridges.

The walk to Geal Charn is quite a distance, but the terrain is easy and it seemed to pass in no time - the only slow bit being a bit of clambering over large scree near the summit. Geal Charn in particular had a lot of snow at the top and more than once when the mist came in we were left unable to see our onward route and relying on footprints in the snow.

To get to Creag Pitridh, we had to retrace our steps slightly to avoid ending up over crags, but soon we could see the top. With only about 100m of reascent, this really felt like a freebie. From the ocky top we headed west down nice springy grass to the path and the path took us north back to the track. We didn't see another person all day, so this did feel like quite a wilderness walk.

 The still snowy summit of Beinn a'Chlachair

 Sheltering from the wind at the top of Geal Charn

Creag Pitridh - the rocky 'freebie' on the way back

176, 177. Beinn Achaladair (94), Beinn a'Creachain (61). 30/04/2016

A great afternoon in the hills. Having been travelling in the morning, we couldn't start before 1.20pm, but this walk filled the gap between then and dinner nicely.

We started by heading south from the car park to the bealach with the Bridge of Orchy hills. According to one walker, we could have climbed up the side of the ridge, but it was still pretty snowy, so we thought the longer route was more prudent. It did at least mean that the climbing wasn't too steep and that the mist had almost cleared when we reached the summit. The wind was strong and there were a few showers, but fortunately we were able to turn our backs to them as we made our way along the ridge to Beinn a'Creachain.

There was a fair amount of reascent between the two, but we had made good time. From here we had a surprisingly wintry panorama of hills as far as the eye could see. The snow wasn't a problem and in fact it aided our descent in a couple of places. I have to say that the initial descent to the railway was one of the most gentle I can remember. Instead of the hard jarring rocks that can be found on a number of munros, we had a mixture of glissading and striding down soft springy grass. Unfortunately, once the railway had been passed and the river forded, we still had nearly three miles of track back to the car just to make sure the joints didn't get away without a little bone-jarring.

 Approaching the summit of Beinn Achaladair, with the 
Tyndrum and Crainlarich hills in the background.

 The mist lifted just after we left the top...

 Looking back along the ridge

At the top of Beinn a'Creachain. Nice socks!